Richard Rorty, Volume 1

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This is the first systematic assessment of the work of Richard Rorty - one of the most provocative and influential thinkers writing today. It will be an essential reference for academics and students in philosophy, social theory, sociology, cultural studies and literary theory.

Rorty's fertile writings have challenged not just the assumptions behind the relatively narrow analytic tradition he was first trained in, but those concerning the very nature of social thought itself. The critical articles collected in these four volumes follow the trajectory of Rorty's whole career, from his early work in analytic philosophy to his later writings on pragmatism, continental philosophy, literature, culture, and liberal politics.

The collection is divided into four volumes:

- Philosophy: this volume looks at how Rorty's contribution to the analytic tradition was assessed by his peers at the time and then examines how his later, more explicitly post-analytic, writings relate to traditional philosophical topics such as `truth' and `realism'.

- Post-Analytic Pragmatism: Volume Two examines Rorty's `post-analytic pragmatism'. It begins by considering how Rorty prepared for a shift into this territory, and then looks more closely at the kind of pragmatism he sought to establish; the volume contains discussions of the kind of pragmatism that emerges from both Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature (1979) and Consequences of Pragmatism (1982).

- Politics, Irony and Solidarity provides an assessment of Rorty's account of irony and examines its relationship to his liberal politics.

- Culture, Interpretation and Conversations: this final volume examines Rorty's views on philosophy as a form of cultural conversation and discusses his interpretations or `appropriations' of other philosophers. Of special interest here are his readings of continental philosophers such as Hegel, Heidegger and Derrida, where it is acknowledged that one Rorty's most important contributions to social thought has been to make the work of such philosophers more accessible to readers unfamiliar with, or even hostile to, the continental tradition. Volume 4 concludes with a definitive bibliography, which will be an invaluable resource for researchers and students.

Edited by Alan Malachowski - a leading commentator on Rorty's work - this collection will be the standard reference work on one of the canonical theorists of the late 20th century.

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